Tribe and JFS Shabbaton Conquers Alton Castle

Last weekend, Tribe in partnership with the JFS Jewish Informal Education Programme (JIEP) took nearly 40 Year 7 JFS pupils to Alton Castle in Staffordshire for an exciting Shabbaton jam packed with fun activities and games, inspiring discussions and amazing food.
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Rabbi Shaw and participants during Havdalah

Leaving JFS on Friday morning, the students arrived at Alton Castle and began their Shabbat preparations before a welcome and introduction from the Tribe madrichim and JFS volunteers.

After Mincha and candle lighting where the girls lit their individual Shabbat candles, the students took part in an uplifting Kabbalat Shabbat service followed by a delicious Friday night dinner. The students then played the popular ‘Tribe Mitzvah Game‘ late into the night.

On Shabbat morning the participants engaged in an explanatory prayer service and afterwards sat down to an exciting Shabbat Lunch. Based on the theme of the weekend; ‘Love thy Neighbour’, there were fun afternoon activities which focused on being a good person and how people should treat each other, in addition to a talk about Tribe and what it can offer the students.

Seuda Shlishit was followed by an inspirational Havdalah service in which the students sat together singing songs and listened to moving stories by Tribes Rabbi Andrew Shaw. After Shabbat the students were split up into teams and faced various challenges for the final activity of the Shabbaton, a human version of the popular board game ‘Hungry Hippos’.

The reaction from the JFS pupils was overwhelmingly positive with Emma Scott, a year 7 JFS pupil saying;

“I had an amazing time at the Tribe Shabbaton with different people in my year. The activities were really fun and the madrichim ensured no one was left out. My highlight was singing in a dark room before the Havdalla service and it really sent shivers down my spine. I learnt a lot from the Tribe educators and I can’t wait for the next Shabbaton!!”

Jonathan Miller, Head Teacher at JFS was delighted with the response from his pupils, he said;

"Our Year 7 students had a fantastic time at the Shabbaton. It was a fantastic opportunity to bring the Jewish ethos of the school to life and spending a Shabbat together reinforces the community aspect of JFS."

Rabbi Shaw of Tribe said of the success of the Shabbaton;

“We are delighted to continue our strong relationship with JFS and I was impressed by the student’s enthusiasm and willingness to participate in all the activities. I hope that aside from having a really fun weekend, they took away some inspiration and I look forward to seeing them at future Tribe events!"

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